Auburn throttled Iowa in 8/9, setting up an incredibly intriguing second-round matchup against No. 1 seed Houston in the Midwest, which is dealing with several injuries.
The Cougars’ leading scorer Marcus Sasser suited up for Thursday’s first-round matchup against Northern Kentucky, but re-aggravated his strain in the team’s win over the No. 16 seed. Meanwhile, the team’s other ball handler sprained his knee, and head coach Calvin Sampson is quickly running out of options at point guard.
Houston has its hands full and could now come up short against Auburn, which plays Saturday night in nearby Birmingham, Alabama.
How does this shape the point spread?
Here are the odds for the match of the 32nd round.
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Auburn vs. Houston odds, spread and total
Auburn Tigers @ Houston Cougars |: Odds courtesy of FanDuel
Auburn vs Houston Prediction and Picks
Sasser’s groin and Shead’s knee have head coach Sampson “a lot of concern,” he said after Houston’s lackluster effort against Northern Kentucky.
While there is some upside for Houston in this game, despite being short, being able to create second chances against an Auburn team that ranks outside the top 300 in defensive rebounding rate, the Tigers defense is going to make the Cougars. shoot from the perimeter, which could be a problem considering the team is likely to be without its best high 3-point shooter in Sasser, who is a 38% shooter.
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Look out for Houston’s turnovers as they had 14, but Auburn will be much more aggressive than Northern Kentucky in the open floor and will try to force the issue inside.
With the Cougars hitting a short turnaround, this could be a dangerous matchup as they play a false home game for the War Eagles. This game could be a bummer given Houston’s penchant for playing in the half court and making teams work for their shots, but I can’t help but look to the underdog.
Auburn Tigers @ Houston Cougars
NCAAB • 2022-23 March Madness – Second Round
1-0-1 (100%) on AUB distribution options this season
Posted on March 17, 2023 11:32 am
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Game odds are updated regularly and are subject to change.